Wireless confusion! Too many options, help please

I am new to wireless and need a card for my laptop. There are so many claiming to have the ultimate range but which really does? I plan to use the pcmcia card with an external antenna.

Which card has the longest range or packs the most power? I guess I need to know which is the ultimate laptop card. I read that the UBIQUITI SRC

300mW is the best but cannot find any user opinions, or does Buffalo make the best?

Please help as I can't afford to plunk down money for something I will regret later. Thank you.

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zandra snipped-for-privacy@nomailyahoo.com hath wroth:

Ok, just the basics. Everyone lies about speed and range. What they don't tell you is that for a given setup, speed and range are mutually exclusive. If you're really close to the access point, you'll get full speed (54Mbits/sec or whatever). If your at the extreme range (about 300ft), you'll be lucky to get perhaps a 12Mbits/sec connection. Thruput is about half the wireless connection speed.

External antennas will improve the situation considerably. 6dBi will double your range. 12dBi will go 4 times farther. Putting an external antenna on both ends will go even farther. See: |

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Increasing the transmit power also has an effect on range and speed. The typical wireless card has a transmit power of about +17dBm. The high power cards crank out perhaps +23dBm. That's an increase of 6dB which is conveniently twice the range. However, note that you have to have +23dBm transmit power at both ends of a link. If only on one side, you won't hear the other side.

What's a user option? I don't understand.

I really don't know. I'm not a believer or practitioner in high power at only one end of link. That's called an "alligator", an animal with a big mouth, and small ears.

Suggestion. Spend your time and money on antennas and don't do the high power thing unless both ends are high power.

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Jeff Liebermann

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